It was just a few days ago when Derek Kraus was celebrating his 15th birthday.  He put the icing on his birthday cake on Saturday night at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin by becoming the youngest winner in ARCA Midwest Tour history.


The young pilot dominated in his breakthrough win by leading all 101 laps in the Bill Meiller Memorial event at the 1/3-mile oval.  The victory wasn’t an easy drive as he fought to keep the lead on numerous restarts and held off a late charge from Dennis Prunty to get the checkered flag.


PFC ZR94 300x250“It feels really good to get my first ARCA Midwest Tour win,” a smiling Kraus said in victory lane.  “The crew built a really good car and I just had to drive it.”


He knew it would be a challenge to hold off the veteran in the closing stages of the race.


“I knew he was good and I knew he started eighth and worked his way up to the front,” Kraus said.  “I knew his car was pretty good and just had to hit my marks.”


Prunty thought he would have something for Kraus, but ran into a situation with about 30 laps to go.


“I bounced off the wall pretty well and knocked the tow out and moved the rear end over a little bit,” Prunty explained.  “If it wasn’t for that, I may have had more for him, but he ran a good race.


“I almost pulled off the track, I never hit that hard in my life and kept going, it was pretty decent so I kept going.”


Skylar Holzhausen finished third with Andrew Morrissey in fourth. Paul Shafer Jr. rounded out the top five.


Shafer’s finish will make a big cut into Ty Majeski’s current lead in the ARCA Midwest Tour point standings with two races to go.


“Well, we had a good run and the car is in one piece.  I fought and did everything I could on the outside to beat Derek, but just couldn’t get it done and lost a few spots in the end,” Shafer said after the race.  “Overall, not a bad day for my first time at the Dells.  As far as points, I still don’t know where I’m at, I just want to win a race and will do whatever it takes to make that happen.”


Majeski, with the support of ARCA Midwest Tour Promoter Gregg McKarns, traveled to Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota to try to improve his chances of capturing the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship.


The updated point standings were not available at the press deadline.


For Derek Kraus, his young racing career is off to a great start after taking over the wheel from his father Mark Kraus last year.  So far in nine career starts in the ARCA Midwest Tour, he has one victory, three top-five, and four top-10 finishes.  He tied his father with career top-five’s with Saturday’s victory.


The next ARCA Midwest Tour race is Saturday, September 24 at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota. Speed Central details from Saturday’s race can be found at:


-By Kevin Ramsell, Midwest Correspondent

-Photo credit:



Bill Meiller Memorial 101


1 9 Derek Kraus 101
2 42P Dennis Prunty 101
3 78h Skylar Holzhausen 101
4 39m Andrew Morrissey 101
5 7 Paul Shafer Jr 101
6 75 Chris Weinkauf 101
7 47 Casey Johnson 101
8 5s Travis Sauter 101
9 31b Nick Barstad 101
10 19 Dalton Zehr 101
11 11k Bobby Kendall 101
12 44 Mike Lichtfeld 101
13 45 Jim Sauter 101
14 77 Jonathan Eilen 101
15 52 Ricky Baker 101
16 7jd John DeAngelis Jr. 101
17 31 Corey Jankowski 100
18 14 Austin Nason 100
19 90 Duke Long 100
20 43 Matt Kocourek 92
21 38 Jeff Holtz 92
22 58 Cardell Potter 90
23 8 Chad Butz 73
24 76 Jason Weinkauf 44
25 32 Steve Lichtfeld 28

Kraus Makes Midwest Tour History at Dells Raceway Park